CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - April was the 4th wettest on record for Illinois with 6.90 inches of rain, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois. That total was 3.13 inches above the long-term average of 3.77 inches for the month.
This April easily exceeded the combined statewide rainfall totals for Illinois in May, June, and July of 2012 during the worst of the drought. The total rainfall amounts for those months in 2012 were 2.50 inches, 1.80 inches, and 1.48 inches, respectively, which led to a total of only 5.78 inches. That was 1.12 inches less than the amount of rainfall during this April alone.
A small area of southern Illinois experienced below-average rainfall in Illinois. Otherwise, the rainfall across the rest of the state was much above average. The two largest monthly totals for April were Augusta with 12.28 inches and Naperville with 11.03 inches. Several more stations reported totals in the 10-inch range.
There were two major impacts of the wet April. One was widespread flooding on the Illinois, Wabash, and Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries. Several sites along the Illinois reported record high river crests in April. Because the flooding included the Chicago area, the dollar damages and number of people affected will be quite large.
The second impact of the wet April was the delay in fieldwork. In the April 29 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service report, only 1 percent of the corn crop was planted, compared to 76 percent last April, and a five-year average of 36 percent.
The statewide average temperature was 50.1 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees below average.
“The average temperature was not record-setting but reflects the fact that we had a lot of cool, cloudy days in April,” Angel concluded.